During their travels in Iran in 2019, Nastaran Razawi Khorasani and Davy Pieters reflected on the women who grew up under the country’s Islamic dictatorship, and were confronted with the immense impact that (un)freedom has on their daily lives and outlook on life. Both women and artists in Iran face immense amounts of censorship and restrictions to their self-expression. Acknowledging their privilege and responsibility, the duo set out to offer a voice and platform to those who are left unheard. Their film Fereshteh’s Beauty Salon / سالن فرشتھ was inspired by conversations with various Iranian women, based both in Iran and in the Netherlands, on the role that freedom plays in their daily lives. Set in a beauty salon—one of the few safe spaces for women to express themselves in an oppressive society—the film shares stories of ‘small resistance’ by women from Iran. Their experiences and accounts speak to the women’s resistance, power and determination, as well as their humour and lightness, and demonstrate how a build-up of small-scale action has had a massive impact on their individual and collective freedom.

By Davy Pieters and Nastaran Razawi Khorasani.

The work in progress and research of the film is part of the exhibition Qoqnoos (the power of art & resistance by the woman of Iran) at De Melkweg in Amsterdam, March 8 – May 14 2023.

Fereshteh’s Beauty Salon was recently supported for development as part of Teledoc Campus.

Production details:
In coproduction with NTR
In collaboration with KOBE

Country: The Netherlands
Status: In development, expected in 2024
Running time: ’25 minutes

Short documentary